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Old 04-08-2018, 09:51 AM   #1
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Slowwww battery charge

Hi
I got my trailer out if storage yesterday. Checked batteries and they both needed water. Added distilled water and my monitor showed 28% charge...yikes. they are 2011 series batteries, so they are getting old. I have the trailer plugged into shore power. Overnightge increased to 39%. Then I reached under the bed and switched off the battery isolate. Now the readout shows 105%. When I disconnect from outside power the readout indicates 13.1 volts and 105% charge.

I'm baffled. Please help. Thanks
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Old 04-08-2018, 11:32 AM   #2
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If I recall properly, when you turn that isolator switch on, it eliminates any contact with the trailer, but solar will continue to charge the battery. So if you plug in, your on board converter will not charge unless you turn the switch to off and the battery is now part of the 12v on board system which is charged by the converter and solar.
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Old 04-08-2018, 01:28 PM   #3
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To get a proper reading you need to disconnect from city power and let it sit for a day, then check again.

A hygrometer will tell you the condition of the cells better then reading the voltage.
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Old 04-08-2018, 02:27 PM   #4
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To get a proper reading you need to disconnect from city power...
Or flip the storage switch off, or just turn off the converter by flipping its circuit breaker off. And disconnect any solar charging system.

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A hygrometer will tell you the condition of the cells better then reading the voltage.
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Old 04-08-2018, 02:33 PM   #5
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If I recall properly, when you turn that isolator switch on, it eliminates any contact with the trailer, but solar will continue to charge the battery.
Good catch: if you have solar system, you will probably not get an accurate state of charge system unless you disconnect it (or wait or some time after dark).

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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
So if you plug in, your on board converter will not charge unless you turn the switch to off and the battery is now part of the 12v on board system which is charged by the converter and solar.
The labelling of this switch has been problematic. The switch needs to be in the position for using the trailer (connected, closed, "on" in normal use of the word) for battery power to get to the lights and appliances in the trailer, or for converter power to get to the battery.

These switches are typically labelled "Use/Store" or similar in many RVs, not "on/off", to reduce confusion. For the converter to charge the battery, the switch needs to be in the "Use" position.
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Old 04-08-2018, 02:39 PM   #6
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The labelling of this switch has been problematic.
You're right. And depending on how you store the trailer, the scenario changes. If uncovered and with solar, leave it off and you charge. If covered with no power, leave it off although you will get a bit of drain over time. If covered with an electrical hookup, as I have, leave it on and let the converter keep the batteries topped.
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Old 04-08-2018, 10:41 PM   #7
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Thanks again for all your help. I bought a hydrometer and tested the batteries. Very low. Two dead cells. But the batteries were 7 years old. So I bought two new 6 volt golf cart batteries today that give me 210 amp hours. I have all LED lights and very limited power demands plus I have a 110 pv panel. So we'll see how it goes!
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Old 04-08-2018, 10:45 PM   #8
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That was my first instinct- buy two new 6'ers. Glad you didn't need to read 63 posts to do so
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Old 04-08-2018, 11:21 PM   #9
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That was my first instinct- buy two new 6'ers. Glad you didn't need to read 63 posts to do so
Thanks. We're headed your direction next week for our first real shakedown. From Humboldt to Sonoma, then Paso Robles, big sur, and Bodega Bay. I'm a transplant from Santa Barbara so I'm looking forward to seeing the Central coast again.
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Old 04-09-2018, 03:03 AM   #10
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heh, love Arcata, my daughter is about to graduate HSU, and my son also went there, graduating about 4-5 years ago...
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